Upon an invitation from the Peruvian government to act as host country, the first regional air navigation meeting for South America was held in 1947 in Lima, Peru, at the facilities of the Collique airport. Following other regional meetings precedents, this Meeting requested the creation of an ICAO Regional Office for South America. The ICAO Council, after analyzing the various offers received from States in the SAM Region, decided to establish the headquarters of the Regional Office in Lima, Peru, due to its geographical location and to the terms offered by the Peruvian government for the establishment and operation of the South American Regional Office, having signed the agreement between Peru and the International Civil Aviation Organization on 22 October 1948.
Since 1948, the headquarters of the ICAO South American Regional Office is located in Lima, with the mission to provide assistance to all South American States, including Panama, in topics related with the development of international civil aviation.
The assistance to the South American States upon which the Regional Office is accredited to, is provided through a programme of missions of assistance to States, the management of various regional technical cooperation projects, validation and audits missions to States to verify their compliance with the ICAO standards and recommended practices (SARPs), as well as the implementation of the regional Air Navigation Plan. To carry out this task, the Regional Office counts with a group of international experts in the safety, airport security, air navigation and technical cooperation fields.
In addition to the direct assistance provided to States and within regional context, ICAO counts with an air navigation planning and implementation group (PIRG) acting within the Caribbean and South American Regions, GREPECAS, whose current structure, based on the development of programmes and projects, aims towards the enhancement of operational improvements, in alignment with the ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP).
In addition and in line with the ICAO Global Air Navigation Safety Plan (GASP), the Regional Office is headquarters to the Regional Safety Oversight Cooperation System (SRVSOP), established after the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Latin American Civil Aviation Commission (LACAC) and ICAO. The SRVSOP is a Regional Safety Oversight Organization (RSOO) driving towards the establishment of a harmonized standards and procedures environment, known as Latin American Regulations (LAR), to take advantage of economies of scale, avoid duplication of efforts, and support in the growth and integration of air transport in Latin America.
Together with the ICAO North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACC) Regional Office, the SAM Office actively participates in the Regional Aviation Safety Group – Pan American (RASG-PA), whose objective is to ensure harmonization and coordination of safety efforts aimed at reducing aviation safety risks, and to promote the implementation of resulting safety initiatives by all stakeholders.